Wednesday, 1 December 2010

And over a year later...........

I finally finished another quick make!
July 2009 I had the wonderful idea of knitting myself a cool silky bamboo cotton top. I ordered some beautiful spring green Sirdar Just Bamboo and even carefully selected a pattern created especially for that yarn. The parcel was delivered a couple of days after I ordered and I cast on almost immediately. And then got waylaid by a sock. And another sock. And a few hats, scarves, gloves, Christmas gifts, baby makes......... the list went on. The bamboo top stayed as only a couple of inches of stocking stitch. Until last week. Routing through the cupboard I spied the little pink project bag I had stored it away in. The lovely green brought images of spring days and sunshine and walks out in the warm, bright sunshine. The complete opposite of now with the ice and the cold and 3 pairs of socks and functional warm weatherproof clothing. And so caught in a daydream of warmth and contentment I started to knit.
Three days later and I had finished - the knitting part anyway! It took another 24 hours to shape and sew and sort out all those annoying little ends that unravelled when I tried to weave them in and needed securing with a few stitches of standard cotton thread. I'm not sure I will knit anything on a larger scale from bamboo tape ever again. Far too silky and slippy and unravelly.
So this is what I have ended up with:
It fits wonderfully well and skims and drapes just how I hoped it would. And I just know I am going to enjoy wearing it when the weather warms up once more.
Technical details:
Knitted to fit a size10/12 top (it stretches nicely across a rather large chest on a small frame ;-) )
Sirdar pattern no. 8879.
Sirdar Just Bamboo shade 119 - 6 balls (the pattern states 5 but I only just went into the sixth for maybe a couple of rows of the neckband).
Needles - 5.5mm
Worked in stocking stitch throughout with a garter stitch neckband, minimal raglan shaping for the sleeves, and a little knot detailing at the neck. Very, very easy to knit up and great for a beginner or if watching Kirstie's handmade home or Sweeney Todd.

And in other news - Giveaway winner..................Sparky!
If you send me a PM over on the GP forum I will get your headband off to you. Just remember to tell me what colour you would like and average head size, yourself or a little person. Oh and don't forget to let me have your address :)


Sunday, 21 November 2010


This week I have been mostly making headbands! After the success of Helen's headband in the previous post Jen informed me that she needed one too. Only this time in Purple. No purple yarn in my stash of a thicker ply so I settled on a thin DK and used it doubled. Jen hasn't seen it yet but I'm pretty sure it's what she is expecting:

And as a thank you to everyone for all the support here in bloggyland I am offering one of these super cute headbands to the name that gets picked at random next week.  This one is in a chunky cream yarn but if you are the lucky winner then tell me your favourite colour and I will search through my stash ;-) And if you want it downsizing a little to give away as a gift to someone else then just let me know.

Just leave a comment to be in with a chance to win the latest trend in headwear (well according my girls anyway) and I will choose a name out of the hat next Sunday. Feel free to link away ;-)

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Headband and mitts.

Original title don't you think?
A request from Helen - a knitted headband with a large flower trim. Apparently they're "everywhere" just now. So we had a search through the stash and after finding the right wool I set to work. And this is the result:

Worked in Mirasol (yes you know how much I love their yarn!) Miski 100% baby llama the whole thing took just about the full 50g skein with only a few inches of wool left at the end. Lucky really as I bought only the one skein some time last year and have been waiting patiently for a fitting project ever since.
It is about an aranweight yarn and I knitted up the headband on 4.5mm DPN's.
The flower was crocheted following this pattern. I didn't feel confident enough to make this flower up as I went, especially as I was aware of how little wool I had left. 
Jen sat with me whilst everyone else went to bed and as I finished off the headband she put in a request for one too. And I'm thinking this would also be nice for a present for other girls in the family too........

Also knitted up since the last post were these mittens for Heather:

I used the Mirasol left over from the gloves I made for myself and I still have enough to knit up one more pair of mitts I think. Worked on straight needles in size 3mm for the rib and 3.5mm for the main body these mitts are just so tiny and took barely any time at all to knit up, definitely a quick knit fix!
Definitely on a roll at the moment, but I think I need to try fit some sleep in too.....

Monday, 15 November 2010

From disaster came.........

So I mentioned that I accidentally felted another cardigan. This one. I've blogged about this cardigan a couple of times, mainly about how long it took (moss stitch on a large cardigan eek!), about the bargain price of the wool, about the search for one last ball to finish it off, and about how wonderfully warm it was when wrapped around Heather and I when we were out and about. Well after all that I couldn't bear to see it all shrunk and stiff, yet neither could I just throw it away. And so yesterday it was transformed. I chopped and stitched. I crocheted. And I finally ended up with this:

What do you think?
I actually prefer it in it's new incarnation and have already had a request for something similar from a very particular and devoted to style, young person. I'm always pleased when I get a pleasant comment from those harshest of critics - young women! They all preferred it over the cardigan it used to be which they said looked as if it had been knitted for an old Granny. Mind you, if the cap fits.........!
Technical details:
7 balls of Paton's Shadow Tweed knitted up into a rather lovely moss stitch cardigan. Although I guess knitting it up into a couple of squares and a long thin rectangle would be far easier if you didn't want to wear the thing for a year first ;-)
Shrink all the knitting down on a very hot towel wash. This cardigan reduced down from around a size 14 to about an age 7-8 so very densely felted.
Scraps of Ikea fabric for the lining left over from making curtains for the caravan.
Bag handles free from one of my knitting mags at some point over the last few years.
Crochet flowers made up as I went along from scraps of Paton's fairytale color4me pure wool DK left over from a pumpkin hat. (I am rather liking the "make it up as you go" aspect of crochet, something that is much more difficult to do with knitting).
Running stitch stems for the flowers from scraps of green wool found in a bag of wool oddments at a car boot sale.
All in all a no-buy bag. Now to have a look at what else I can "accidentally" shrink in time for Christmas makes.
Happy crafting everyone.


Saturday, 13 November 2010


Needing to occupy my mind this evening I thought I would ignore the housework and do a little crafting instead.
It's turned so cold the past few days that I decided to treat myself to a nice pair of gloves:

I've had this wool in my stash for many many months but I love Mirasol wool so much that I always set it aside for a special project and then never get round to using it. These gloves only took just over one of the two 50g skeins I had so I still have enough left to knit a pair of mittens for Heather too. The wool is Mirasol Chirapa 100% merino and is just so soft and warm. The colours are pretty warming too for on the coldest of days.

I also finished off the cardigan I have been working on over the past week for Heather:

Yet another purple one, she looks so lovely in all things purple. This was knitted up on Paton's Diploma gold DK and used 3 50g balls. It's in a simple garter stitch with a crochet edging rather than the usual rib. I really like the added interest a crochet edging gives. And it's so much quicker too ;-) Actually this looks so much better on Heather than it looks in the photo. Will have to try get her to model....

Felting too has been taken it's turn, although this was an accidental make. Remember this? Well it somehow ended up in the washing machine on a towels wash and when I realised it had already shrunk to newborn size. It was too stiffly felted to be of any use to a teeny baby so I decided to turn it into something else rather than throw it away:

I used the back section of the cardigan to make this purse/zippered bag and added needle felted flowers and edging to add a bit of colour. Not sure what I'm going to do with it now I've made it but I think it's very cute and almost worth felting a piece of clothing for. And I still have the rest of the felted cardigan and the buttons looking to be used on a new project. Now I just need to think what to do with the extra large mum and baby covering cardigan that also got felted in the same wash.........

Monday, 11 October 2010

A quick update.

There's not been much crafting going on around here lately. Well not my crafting's anyway. I had one of those fabulous ideas that involved moving around furniture, building shelves etc and in the process DH managed to saw through my thumb virtually down to the bone and partway through the nail. So no fine pincer grip for over a week meant no sewing or felting. And a continuing heavily bandaged thumb means no knitting or crochet.
The wound is healing though. I would say nicely but a dislike of hospitals means that I have cleaned and dressed the wound myself and used tape and tight bandaging rather than stitches so the result is a rather oddly shaped bulging thumb. But I'm down to just protective plasters now so I'm sure it will all be fine very soon, and I'm not so fussed how it looks, as long as it works........
I managed to complete a few rows of a top for Heather last night so hopefully back with some crafty catch ups soon.


Saturday, 18 September 2010

Autumn knits.

This week the weather has turned decidedly autumnal and the woolies are coming out of storage. But I'm getting prepared early this time and getting the needles clicking on the warm, cosy jumpers. This is the latest woolie to be finished:

Started on Tuesday evening, quickly knitted up in Wendy Chameleon chunky wool/acrylic mix shade 522. The wool was on special at Hobbycraft (I think it was £1.49 a ball) so I picked up a pattern too which was also in the offers section. The pattern is no. 5380 and specified 6 balls in Cain's size. However I ended up not having enough despite buying an extra ball AND working to the correct tension. Usually I don't bother with the tension as I am far too impatient but this time I wanted to make sure the shortage wasn't down to my error ;-) so I measured up.

I thought there would be a problem after knitting the back so moved onto the arms next whilst I formulated a rescue plan just in case. By the time I started on the front I knew I needed to put the plan into action and so rifled through my stash looking for co-ordinating yarns. Luckily I found an odd ball of Twilley's Freedom in dark green and so I added a band of this just above the ribbing. The rescue plan worked and I had just enough yarn to finish the project:

I am thinking that the stripe still looks added in rather than part of the design so am considering different embellishments to bring it all together. I'll be back - as someone once said ;-)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Yet more socks!

Helen admires every pair of knitted socks I make and I keep promising to knit her a pair but always get sidelined by other projects. So as today was her birthday I had a very special mama-made gift for her - a pair of chunky cable knit socks complete with tassles and ties!

These were knitted on a set of 4 5mm DPN's and I used a pattern that was free in the latest issue of Let's knit magazine.

The DPN's were also free with the magazine and I really didn't enjoy the feel of them so they may well be getting rehomed very soon. Anyone on the hunt for a set of five neon coloured plastic needles?
The wool specified was Sirdar supersoft aran but I thought Helen would prefer the Sirdar Click aran instead as the colours were much hers. The picture doesn't show the cable twist to the sides of the socks very well unfortunately, but they are there ;-)

These were really quick and easy to knit up and only took a couple of nights, between teething poorly baby and never sleeping small boys.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Just a quickie....

This little top took just hours to knit up and is a perfect cover-up over long sleeves on cooler days:

Knitted from less than 2 balls of Sirdar Balmoral DK which I bought in the charity shop, just under three balls for 60p, so a super cheap make. I have just short of a ball left which I am thinking would make a nice little matching bag for the little girl who is loving putting things inside bigger things at the moment.

Garter stitch hemline, stocking stitch main body, garter stitch button band, neckline and cuffs. Just need to block it and find some nice buttons to finish it off now.

This was such an easy and quick knit and fab for stashbusting that I might just have another go but with different yarn and maybe for a bigger girlie too.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010

A WIP no longer!

I started on this about 18 months ago - a pair of chunky cabled socks worked on 2 needles from a pattern in a knitting magazine. Of course I wouldn't normally knit socks on 2 needles but the socks looked really cosy and the pattern was simple enough so I thought I would see how they worked up done in such a different way. I had only managed to work the rib and first repeat before tidying them away and forgetting about them but when I pulled them out yesterday I managed to get the whole of one sock done. This is what it looked like from cuff down to heel shaping:

And this is what it looks like right now:

Yes, I ripped it right back and have put the wool back in the stash. As I worked the heel I began to feel that it wasn't coming quite right and that the foot was going to be rather wide but I carried on knitting. I shortened the length as John is only a size 8 shoe and worked the toe shaping, all the time thinking that this sock appeared to be getting wider and wider as the pattern changed from the tight cables to a stocking stitch toe. And I was proved right when I stitched the seams and completed the sock. It was very wide across the toes, not how it should have been at all. I followed the pattern exactly as I haven't worked socks on 2 needles before and my tension was fine so I am putting it down to a design flaw in the pattern itself. I certainly won't be trying that pattern again!
But the wool will not go to waste - John really liked the colour and warmth and suggested it would make a great scarf for the winter. So the WIP is still a WIP, kind of. Just a completely different one than it started out as........

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Who's a busy hooker?

But only in the rugmaking sense.
Remember this?

Well it's been stuck in the cupboard since before Heather was born so it's about time I got back to it and made an attempt to finish it off. The original plan was a cute soft little rug for a newborn baby to lay down on but the idea now is to hopefully finish it in time for when that baby get's her own room. And seeing as that will be after the older two girls move on then I might have a couple of years to go yet ;-) It's such a faffy project, I have to get all the bits out, make some room to spread them around me, and then hook away a strand of wool at a time. And it can only be done whilst Heather is sleeping as she likes to pull the wool out of the wrappers and throw them about. Or snuggle against the hooked section "aawwing" away. Well I guess that means she likes it though. So this where I'm up to with the latest WIP in the rapidly shrinking list:

And so hopefully the next to be finished. Unless of course I get distracted by a little knitting........or crochet......or cross-stitch.....
And I have promised a new knitted boobie for a colleague. And a knit for a soon to be arriving newborn.
Oh decisions, decisions.
Happy crafting everyone.

Friday, 13 August 2010


And this is what I was knitting:

See sock love is still holding me tight.
These were knitted from a pattern in the latest issue of simply knitting magazine but I decided to use stash yarn rather than that specified in the pattern. I have no idea what the yarn is as I found it, label-less, lingering in a basket in the charity shop and it only cost me 50p for what I guess was pretty much an unused 100g ball. It feels like a wool/acrylic mix DK. This picture shows the true colour, photography is not my strong point!

Knitted up on 4mm DPN's so they came along very quickly and actually finished a couple of nights ago but not had the time to photograph them. Super cosy for John in winter and I think I may have to knit up a couple more pairs for myself and Helen. Not yet though as I am thinking of having a little break from knitting and trying to get on with a different UFO.
In fact I might just have a search through the rapidly diminishing pile right now.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Quick work.

The project started saturday night is half done already. And is looking rather nice and cosy too. Just right for winter. What do you think?

Have you guessed what it is yet? Dawn, you were right about the clue - it is something from the latest issue of simply knitting, although I'm using stash yarn rather than the recommended yarn. The DPN's were another big clue. I am knitting in the round again.
Does this picture give it away?

Or that I know that I am exactly half way through?
Well barring interruptions the other half of the WIP should be finished by tomorrow and so ready to reveal.
See you soon.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A little clue........

.....for the project started late last night. Noisy neighbours meant a wound up mama in need of soothing. So the needles came out and I started to click away. Can you guess what it's going to be?

Saturday, 7 August 2010

And they're done.

Socks finished at last!
Plain socks knitted up on 2.5mm DPN's using Regia design line Kaffe Fasset.
Tried to finish these late at night and made a slight mistake when decreasing the final heel shaping but it's unnoticeable unless you know it's there. And I wasn't going to rip back at that stage!

I've also been working on a little cross stitch gnome and toadstool but I left it in the caravan so no picture :(
Time to pull out the UFO bag and see what to get onto next.........

Friday, 23 July 2010

I found my mojo!

Well my crafting mojo anyway :-)
I posted a picture of Heather's new dress over on the other blog but thought I would show a bit more detail here as this is supposed to be a place to record and share my creative journey. So here's a little more about the dress, which I think is rather lovely and would love a big version for over summer trousers.
The pattern itself was pretty easy to come up with. For the back I just cast on a random number of stitches as I wanted a full skirt but as I wanted to incorporate a lace pattern the number of stitches had to be divisible by eight. I then worked a picot hem before beginning the diamond lace pattern.

I worked straight until the skirt was the desired length and then worked a decrease row of k1, k2tog repeating across the whole row. This pulled in the skirt to create a tighter yoke. I then changed to the lovely purple yarn and worked in stocking stitch until the piece reached where I would need to decrease the armholes. The armhole shaping was a classic shape created by casting off 4sts at the beginning of the following 2 rows and then decreasing 1st at each end of the next and 3 following alternate rows so 16sts cast off altogether. I then worked until the yoke was the length I wanted. All that was left then was to shape the neck and create straps which was done simply by working 6sts, casting off the following sts until 5 sts were left on the left needle and then knitting across these 5sts so that I had 6sts altogether. I then worked across these 6 sts in stocking stitch until the straps were the right length and then cast off. The yarn was rejoined to the remaining 6sts and these were worked in the same way as the first strap.

The front was worked in the same way until the yoke was 4 rows shorter than the back yoke where I then created the buttonhole row. This was done by working 3sts, casting off the following 2sts, continuing until 5sts remained, casting off the following 2sts and working to the end of the row. On the next row I worked 3sts, cast on 2sts, worked until 3sts remained, cast on 2sts and then worked to the end. I worked a further 2 rows and then cast off. All that was left to do was sew the sides together and add the buttons. I'm not sure I like the buttons and will probably change then for some wooden ones in the next day or two. I thought the dress would be pretty enough so could carry the plain black buttons but I think maybe they are a bit too bland?

The yarn is Wendy Supreme 100% cotton DK. Worked on 4mm needles throughout.

Next project on the go is a pair of socks for John. Well actually there's lots on the go, some in my head, some eager to get going and some already started but these socks are the ones I've decided to finish next. I started over a year ago and then got bored halfway down the first sock, never even getting to the heel turning, how fickle was that? But I came across it lingering sadly at the back of the drawer a couple of days ago and finding a renewed love for the colours I carried on where I left it. Only two days later and the first sock is complete and the second is begun:

This time I will get to the end ;-)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

From old to new.

A neighbour of ours recently moved from his council owned property to a new bungalow. His sofa's were too big to take and so he gave the larger one away and offered the smaller to us. We didn't really want it but the neighbour as in a hurry to hand his keys back and would have been charged by the council if it was left in the property so John offered to take it to the skips to save him the worry or final bill. As the sofa was being loaded in the car John called me to see if I wanted the cushions, they were the loose sort, that zip onto the sofa. So of course I said why not, and ended up with four huge cushions and the foam seat pads too. Well you never know when they might be useful.
Well actually they came in useful within days! I had been thinking of creating a cozy corner for the little ones to sit and read, cuddle, sing or rest but didn't have the money to buy anything specific. So I covered the foam and created an L shaped sofa, and then I made covers for the cushions, creating a lovely comfy area for all to enjoy.

At the moment the foam "sofa" is covered by a blanket as i didn't have anything big enough to use. I'm thinking of maybe crochet covers when I get time? The cushion covers were all made from fabric I already had.
The blue cushion has an Ikea print on one side, bought from the bargain bin, and plain blue flannel on the other, an old cot sheet I have kept for many years.

The green cushion has a floral soft cord on one side, a cutoff bought cheaply when I first found I was carrying a little girl (Heather) and with dreams of a pretty little sundress or two, the reverse a plain green heavy cotton leftover from sewing the blind for our bathroom.

The pink cushion has a dainty flower print on one side, which used to be a pair of curtains I found in a charity shop for £1, the back is a deep pink linen left from a sling I made for Emma to carry Sophie in.
And the pirate cushion, well that has been claimed by Owen. The pirate fabric was an offcut for 50p, and the purple reverse side was leftover from recovering an old blanket box found in a house we moved into ten years ago.

So a lovely cosy place for reading stories, yet with lots of stories all of it's own.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Stashbusting - part 3.

So if you read the other blog you'll know that I have been otherwise occupied the past couple of weeks. But I did manage to finish the stashbusting exercise and use those final scraps of Adriafil merino left over from the jumper and hat. And this is what I came up with:

The pattern is from this book. I've used the pattern before but that time for a friend so I remembered it was really quick and simple and used very little yarn so thought I would give it a go and hope the wool would be enough. Fortunately it was but with only inches to spare!
Anyway they should keep little feet warm when playing outside. And as they're so easy to make I think a couple more pairs might be useful as I imagine they might dirty pretty quickly as Heather loves to explore.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Stashbusting - part two.

So I made the hat to match the sweater:

Sorry for the poor photo quality but I just thought this was the most beautiful picture of our little girl, I just had to share.
Again this was hashed up as I went along so no pattern. The leading edge is 8 rows of garter stitch and the rest is plain old stocking stitch, again chosen to show off the colour changes. The decrease was worked with the SL1, K1, PSSO spiral and dropped 6sts on each row I think. I love that little spiral effect on the crown and it looks great on little peoples hats don't you think?
There's about half of one ball left now and a few oddments so I have an idea for them already in mind. Hopefully there will be just enough wool to follow it through. We should all know by tomorrow ;-)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Stashbusting - part one.

The great thing about keeping a crafting blog is that I have points of reference for all things I do, and a record of when I did it, or didn't! So looking back a few days ago to this time last year I came across this post, and remembering how lovely the colours were I decided to dig out the wool again. Well I also remembered that it is a very fine DK, more of a cross between DK and 4 ply, so I thought I would hash up a pattern as I went along rather than relying on following one. I made that mistake here, and had to rip it all back once already. Added to the lack of pattern was the fact that that ripped back wool won't knit to the specified tension anyway as it is more springy and finer than before.
So I thought I'd make a little jumper for Heather and this is what I ended up with:

She definitely has better things to do than pose in her new jumper, can't you tell?

The yarn is Adriafil knitcol 100% merino and self patterned to give these lovely stripes. I didn't want to distort the striped effect by ribbing any part of the jumper so I worked a picot edging to the hem and cuffs instead. I also avoided ribbing the neckline by working a row of double crochet right round, including across the button shoulder opening.
So one more ball of this wool left and I'm thinking a hat might be nice?
Or maybe that would be stripey overkill?